forklifts at a work site

The most significant part of taking care of heavy machinery involves regular servicing after a set interval of time. If you strictly follow a maintenance schedule, your machinery will likely serve you well for a long time. After all, heavy machinery is a costly investment that should serve you well for a long period.

Machines such as forklifts work hard at construction sites, retail businesses, and a wide range of industrial sites. In some cases, they don’t get back the “love” they desire. They might go neglected even when they scream for attention. Luckily, most of them are well built and can serve you a long time without a major breakdown. However, all machinery at some point demands servicing. The more diligent the servicing, the more useful your asset becomes. Continually neglecting your forklift and putting off servicing is the surest way to a total breakdown and eventual grounding.

How Often Should You Service Your Forklift?

This is a question that many owners grapple with. Across the industry, there is no standard time period. Different manufacturers have stipulated different time frames, whereas owners and operators may also work around a suitable schedule.

This notwithstanding, some recommendations apply across the board and operators can rely on them to keep their machinery in good shape. Here is a suggested approach.

Follow Manufacturer Recommendations

This is possibly the easiest approach to follow. Check what your manufacturer recommends and work with that. Servicing frequency may depend on the number of hours your forklift has worked. There are two ways to calculate how long the forklift has worked: you can use the pedal hours or logged/key hours or calculate time by days and months worked.

Your manufacturer may also recommend in-house servicing, where you have a trained technician working on your machine. There may also be factory-based servicing, where you take the forklift back to them for servicing. The reasoning behind forklift service & repairs anywhere worldwide is to have a machine appropriately serviced by a competent individual.

200 – 600 hours

Across the industry, 200 hours seems like a good standard. Once your forklift has worked 200 hours, you can give it a treat by undertaking minor servicing. This includes greasing the chassis, installing new air and oil filters, checking plugs, rotors, distribution points, and other components.

600 Hours

After 600 hours of work, you can extend the servicing you give to your forklift even further. This time you could change the hydraulic oil and hydraulic filter, clean the radiator, adjust the clutch release bearing, and check the hoses, transmission oil, and carriage rollers, among other servicing demands.

Other Factors to Consider

Time is possibly the most important factor to consider, but you can look at the following elements as well:

Age of Equipment

The age of any machinery plays a key factor in determining how it functions. This means that as equipment ages, it will demand increased maintenance to keep it functional. It is estimated that maintenance demands increase by 1% to 3% for every year the equipment is in operation.

Working Conditions

Some people will not fix or service machinery until it’s broken. This is a wrong and misinformed approach because you can’t always wait for your equipment to give you a signal for you to service it. This is a sure way of sending it to the graveyard. Service your equipment while it’s in good working condition. Importantly, don’t force it to work when it’s faulty; instead, fix it promptly.

History of Maintenance

Precisely, this refers to how often your forklift is serviced. If you keep a regular and strict maintenance schedule, you will be able to identify and diagnose problems with your forklift before they get worse. Keep your servicing record complete.

Application Type

Forklifts have a wide range of applications in both heavy and light industries. Ultimately, some work harder than others and therefore demand better care. For instance, forklifts used in construction sites may demand more care than those used in airport luggage transport.

Application type also refers to the kind of forklift you are working with. Some are built for light applications while others are constructed to undertake heavier tasks.

Check What The Law Says

Various countries have laws regarding the use of equipment for industrial and commercial applications. Such laws are meant to protect persons working with or around machinery such as forklifts. They apply in the case of injury to persons or damage to property caused directly or indirectly by the use of such machinery.

Check whether the laws in your jurisdiction stipulate how often you should service your machinery. If harm or damage are caused by poorly maintained equipment, you may be held liable.

Why Is Regular Maintenance Important?

Maintaining your equipment on a regular schedule has several advantages, including:


A well-maintained forklift is safer for everyone around. This underlines the need to keep a good maintenance schedule.


Ultimately, machinery that’s in good condition makes work easier. It’s more efficient and can perform more work in a shorter period.


The better your machine is maintained, the longer it’s bound to serve you! Servicing it frequently within the stipulated schedule helps extend its lifetime.


The importance of forklift maintenance cannot be underestimated. For your machinery to serve you well, it’s paramount that you take good care of it. At the same time, ensure that you work with qualified technicians in servicing your equipment. It may be more costly if your machine is poorly maintained or serviced with poor quality spare parts or products.

We hope you found this blog post How Often Should You Service Your Forklift useful. Be sure to check out our post How to Optimize Your Pallet Wrapping Machine for more great tips!


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